SAN Miguel Beer governor Robert Non hit back at Jong Uichico on Monday, accusing the Talk 'N Text coach of making 'unfounded and unfair' complaints about the officiating in Game Two of the two teams' PBA Philippine Cup semifinal playoff to mask his own shortcomings.
Non took exception to comments made by Uichico after the Beermen's 87-81 win on Sunday night where, sought for his comments about officiating, told reporters that disappointment over calls 'was a given when you're playing against the SMB group.'
Ironically, Uichico is a former coach of the Beermen.
The former league chairman said Uichico's comments put into question the integrity of the PBA as an institution and expressed surprise that the Talk 'N Text coach would "stoop so low with his insinuation about how the referees allegedly favored the Beermen."
Uichico's comments, Non added, were "unbecoming of a coach of his stature."
Non said there was no one to blame for Talk 'N Text's losses but Uichico, who he said is "at a loss on how his team was beaten twice." At the same time, the SMB official accused Talk 'N Text players of playing dirty in a desperate bid to stop June Mar Fajardo and Co.
Non also called on Commissioner Chito Salud to look into Uichico's comments. The league has yet to act on the matter at posting time.
Here's Non's statement in full:
It is a pity that Talk ‘n Text has resorted to unfounded, unnecessary and unfair complaints about the officiating, which I would say sort of maligning and has put into question the integrity of the PBA as an institution. While San Miguel has been the subject of comments made by Talk ’n Text, I am surprised that coach Jong Uichico would stoop so low with his insinuation about how the referees allegedly favored San Miguel Beermen.
Normally, I would not respond to such accusations, but coming from Coach Jong Uichico, who was many-time champion coach from his previous teams and a national coach at that, I find his comments unbecoming of a coach of his stature.
To set the facts straight, any basketball fan knows that San Miguel won both Games One and Two fair and square. And who else to be blamed on TNT side, obviously it’s not the referees but their Coach (Jong) who seems at a loss on how his team was beaten twice. But finding solace in blaming the referees is a lame excuse. He should know better that a game is won not by intimidating the officials but preparing your team well. Obviously he wasn’t able to do his part in that respect.
Playing physical is allowed in the PBA, but not dirty. If you were able to watch the game last night, you can see how they obviously ganged up on Junmar and employed dirty tactics. More fouls should have been called on TNT in Game Two. They tried pulling the jersey of Junmar, poking a finger on Lassiter, tripping Tubid in the sideline and other hard fouls by their players. In Game One, Ranidel De Ocampo almost cost Arwind Santos his playing career with his unsportsmanlike foul as Santos was about to go down after a dunk.
To put things into perspective, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was beaten by Talk ‘n Text in a knockout game but we never complained about the officiating. And so was the defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots which was eliminated by Meralco (sister team of Talk ‘n Text). Talk ‘n Text won several championships in the past and we never accused them of being favored by the referees.
I am calling on Commissioner Salud to look into these unfounded accusations of Coach Uichico in the spirit of sportsmanship that is one of the cornerstones of any sport. In San Miguel, we take pride in doing our business in a manner that is just, fair and transparent, more so in sports.